Blending face-to-face and online learning for Save the Children’s 20,000 learners worldwide.

Save the Children is a global charity working to improve the lives of children in more than 120 countries. With 30 national member organisations and teams working around the world, it needed a training programme that would be accessible worldwide and very flexible.

All Save the Children employees need to complete mandatory training on vital topics such as safeguarding, personal safety and security, and regulatory requirements, as well as an introduction to the organisation.

With teams working in dangerous or remote areas, such as Yemen, Syria and Bangladesh’s Kutupalong refugee camp, where internet connections are far from stable, Save the Children has to combine online learning with face-to-face training depending on circumstances. As such it needed:

  • A platform that would make it easy to manage a blend online and offline training.
  • Consistency of training across its 30 national member organisations.
  • Simple control of hierarchies to suit the complicated structure involving the various members organisations.
  • An easy reporting process to quickly provide information for administrators and external auditors.

Achieving the flexibility needed

Save the Children had originally been considering a Moodle platform, but we were able to demonstrate that Totara offered as standard many of the customised features it needed. 

This included the amount of flexibility when assigning user roles and structural hierarchies. The complexity of the organisation makes it impossible for Save the Children International to provide hands-on learning support in all 30 national member organisations. We incorporated user hierarchies that allow Save the Children to give additional admin permissions to training champions in each country, and to set those permissions at an appropriate level.

Totara’s powerful reporting system makes it simple for different member organisations and departments to get the information they need without placing additional strain on the learning team at Save the Children International. So, the IT team can check on completion of IT security training; the relevant topic lead can easily prepare a report on mandatory training completion for external auditors; and training leaders in individual countries can monitor their team’s progress.

Our UX design makes it easy for Save the Children staff to find the courses they need. Training options are presented in a contextualised way, which supports online learning but also a blended approach for situations in which offline or face-to-face learning is better suited.

Increasing engagement in learning

Save the Children’s new Totara site increased learning engagement among its team in countries around the world. Around 20,000 people now use the site every year – a significant increase from the previous platform.

An improved reporting system means organisation-wide or very specific reports on learning uptake can be compiled much more quickly and in one easy-to-access location. Administrators in different regions can track usage, progress and achievements more easily.

The new LMS allows Save the Children to manage face-to-face and blended learning programmes alongside online learning. This was not possible on the old system. The result is more efficient, versatile and consistent learning across the charity.

“Synergy Learning is always really responsive. The team is very approachable and communicative – they reach out to me a lot and stay in contact even when we don’t have ongoing work. Given a short deadline, they are always able to work to really tight timelines. They’re also very flexible when those timelines change.”

Caroline Quane | Global Learning Technologies Manager

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